Poem Analysis: My Father Was a Simple Man

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George Herbert once said, “One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters.” A father figure is very important in a person’s life; fathers are able to teach his children lessons about life so that his children can avoid the hardship rather than live through it. Fathers are also always there to care, love, and support his family. In the poem, “My Father was a Simple Man” by Omar Luis Salinas, the speaker describe his admiration for his father. In essence, the speaker uses indirect characterization, symbols, and direct characterization to show that his father is appreciative, thoughtful, and wise.

Firstly, the father of the speaker is an admiring man because he cares for the people in his life. Using indirect characterization, the speaker says, “I ask him what he thinks about death and he says he will gladly face it when it comes but won’t jump out in front of a car.” This shows that the father is appreciative of not only his own welfare, but considers the welfare of others and how his death would affect them. The importance lies in the fact that the father cherishes the things he has in his life and would only give it all up if it helped his family. The father of this poem has showed the characteristic of being an appreciative man and is thoughtful, as well.

In addition, the speaker addresses his father being a thoughtful person because he worries about other people. Using a symbol, the speaker says, “He’s sure I’ll be healthy so long as I eat more oranges, and tells me the orange has seeds and so is perpetual and we too will come back like the orange tree” This implies that the father worries about the wellbeing of his son and gives him advice on life. This is important because his father cares about him instead of just worrying about himself unlike many other fathers who do not care about their family. The father of the speaker shows much concern for his son’s welfare and helping his future. The father of this poem has showed the characteristic of being a...
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